Feast day:  July 3

Bishop of the Isle of Man.

Born c. 410; died in Normandy, c. 474. In Wales his feast is kept on July 31 or October 1 (because of the confusion with another Germanus whose feast was on that day).

Tradition tells us that Saint Germanus was a nephew of Saint Patrick. We are also told that when Saint Germanus of Auxerre (f.d. July 31) visited Britain in 448 AD to refute the Pelagians, he met an Irish colonist whose son became his disciple and chose his master’s name for himself. Baring-Gould reports that Germanus of Man was born in Brittany and went to Ireland to work with Saint Patrick.

He was a missionary monk in Ireland, in Wales under Saints Brioc (f.d. May 1) and Illtyd (f.d. November 6), and Brittany. Germanus left Brittany to meet Patrick in Britain about 462. There he engaged in a magic contest with Gwrtheyrn. After that he returned to Ireland (c. 466) eventually to become the bishop of the Isle of Man during the lifetime of Patrick.

After evangelising in Wales, his name is traced in Spain and Gaul. His martyrdom is recorded in Normandy. His memory is preserved in place names, such as Jarman and Gremain, in areas such as Caernavonshire, Denbighshire, Montgomeryshire, and Radnorshire. His name is also found in the Acts of Kieran and those of other early Irish saints. Leland mentions a pilgrimage to Garmon (“Armon”) at Llanarmon yn Ial, where votive offerings were made to a statue in sacerdotal vestments (Baring-Gould, Benedictines, D’Arcy, Farmer, Leland, Moran).